NUJ To Collaborate With Bayelsa Tourism Ministry… As Commissioner Visits Chairman, Seeks Synergy

Bayelsa State Commissioner forTourism Development, Hon. Alla John

The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, Comrade Samuel Numonengi has assured Bayelsa State Commissioner for Tourism Development, Hon. Alla John of a cordial working relationship with the hospitality and tourism sector with a view to positively engaging visitors to give them memorable impressions about Bayelsa state through media contents.

Comrade Numonengi who stated this when the newly appointed Commissioner for Tourism Development, Hon. Alla John visited him in his office at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Yenagoa on Friday, informed the Commissioner for Tourism that the union under his watch had established the Ernest Ikoli Visitor Information Centre at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre as part of the state council’s efforts to promote tourism in a bid to give sense of a place to residents and the visitors, in order to provide a unique space for visitors to enable them engage with the rich history, heritage, culture and tourism offerings of the state.

R-L; Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo, Hon. Alla John and Comrade Samuel Numonengi during the Commissioner’s visit

According to the state chairman of the NUJ, the Visitor Information Centre Yenagoa was named after the foremost Journalist in the country, Ernest Sese Ikoli of blessed memory in recognition of his role in promoting the ideals of objectivity and equity in society, saying that the Visitor Information Centre provides information about Bayelsa state to assist to potential tourists within a destination and its environ.

He said the centre which is meant for dissemination of tourism related information to enhance the overall tourism experience of visitors to the destination plays an important role in promoting the tourism industry as a vital first point of contact with visitors to provide value-adding services to them on arrival.

The council chairman further noted that with a myriad of new social platforms, advanced technologies and changing tourists’ behaviour, the landscape of travel has been undergoing a significant transformation, adding that social media has become the virtual hub for travel inspiration, allowing users to explore destinations through captivating images, engaging videos and overall aesthetically pleasing content from first-hand accounts shared by travellers.

“Uncensored media platforms equally play a key role in generating awareness of tourist destinations as a place to visit. Social media platforms have helped to streamline the trip-planning process, enabling travellers to research, book, and manage their itineraries seamlessly,” the chairman maintained.

Earlier, the new Commissioner for Tourism Development, Hon. Alla John said he was in the chairman’s office to solicit his support in promoting the state’s tourism assets, informing that he would like to create an online events calendar for the state to enable his ministry officials to with the media and the public to create a strong online presence, promote local attractions with engaging contents with a view to showcasing local events and businesses, in addition to hosting various festivals as well as provide tourists maps which direct visitors to the tourist attractions and facilities across the state.

The tourism helmsman who disclosed his plans to embark on a statewide local government tourism facility assessment tour tour have first hand knowledge of such sites, added that the media would be of great help in preserving cultures, strengthenng bond among local communities, fostering social interactions and integration, providing social services, revitalising, art, customs and art forms geared towards preservation of our rich cultural heritage as Ijaw people.

According to Hon. John there was an urgent need for his ministry to work with the media to promote Bayelsa state as an emerging tourist destination in the South-South region, adding that the social media platforms have increasingly become so imperative, especially in spheres of social interactions, cultural and educational aspects of our life.

“The media contribute greatly in activating tourist attractions. The social media platforms are playing an important role in the growth, development and promotion of the tourism and hospitality sector by creating a better awareness and understanding to cater to the needs and requirements of both domestic and international tourists.

Also, speaking, the immediate past Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Senator Douye Diri on Tourism and Publisher of The Blue Economy Magazine Online, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo said in a world of constant technological evolution, consumers especially tourists are changing their behavioural patterns, looking for more tourist-friendly sources of information, pointing out that with the application of information technologies and social media, travelers could get updates on their booked flights and hotels at a particular tourist destination with ease.

R-L, Hon. Alex Akata, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo, Hon. Alla John and Comrade Samuel Numonengi during the visit

Dr. Kiyaramo noted that: “Advertising is a huge part of tourism promotion on social media. It’s perhaps the best strategy we need to use when promoting our tourism enterprises through social media. There are many benefits of using the social in promoting tourism that have demonstrated positive social impacts on society.

“Influencers and content creators wield major influence in shaping travel trends. Through visually attractive posts using trending sounds to compelling storytelling, influencers showcase not only the picturesque destinations they visit but also the highlight the culinary delights, cultural experiences and adventure activities, inspiring millions to embark on a similar journey,” Dr. Kiyaramo said.

The Hon. Commissioner for Tourism Development was accompanied by a former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to governor on Special Duties, Hon. Alex Akata and Mr. Alla Tedei on the visit.


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